June July 2016
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Israeli Lawmaker Comes Out in Wake of Pride Stabbings

Israeli Lawmaker Comes Out in Wake of Pride Stabbings

An Israeli lawmaker has come out, in response to the stabbings that occurred during this year’s Jerusalem Pride parade.

Itzik Shmuli, a member of Knesset — Israel’s legislature — revealed he is gay in an op-ed published Friday in a Hebrew-language daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.

The lawmaker, a member of the Zionist Union party, titled the column, “The knife is raised on my community,” addressing a violent act committed Thursday, in which an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, Yishai Schlissel, stabbed at least six people during a Pride march

“We cannot be silent any longer,” Shmuli wrote. “We cannot be silent any longer because the knife is raised on the entire LGBT community — my community — and it won’t stop there.”

"This is the time to fight the great darkness," he concluded.

The attacker, Schlissel, had just completed serving a 10-year sentence for committing a similar crime — he stabbed three people at a Pride event in 2003. He was released from prison three weeks ago.

The Times of Israel reports that Shmuli had been previously pressured to come out by LGBT activist Gal Uchovsky, who wrote a column in December proclaiming that the closet is no place for politics.

“Want to stay in the closet? No problem, stay at home," Uchovsky wrote. "Want to be a Knesset member? Then there is no closet."

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